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Kosan Initiates Phase 2 Trial of Alvespimycin, Second-Generation Hsp90 Inhibitor, in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Can
By Dross at 2008-01-16 01:41

Kosan Biosciences Incorporated (NASDAQ:KOSN) today announced the initiation of a Phase 2 trial of alvespimycin, the company's second-generation Hsp90 inhibitor, in patients with HER2-positive metastaticterm breast cancer. Alvespimycin has demonstrated the potential to disrupt the activity of multiple oncogenes and cell signaling pathways implicated in tumor growth, including HER2, a key signaling pathway in breast cancer. The objective of the Phase 2 trial is to evaluate the safety and anticancer activity of alvespimycin as a single agent in patients who have not previously received Herceptin for metastatic disease except in an adjuvant setting. Antitumor data in patients with advanced HER2-positive cancer presented at the September 2007 American Society of Oncology (ASCO) Breast Cancer Symposium demonstrated encouraging antitumor activity of alvespimycin in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin(R)).

read more | 1417 reads

Combined Hormone Replacement increases risk of breast cancer fourfold after just 3 years of use
By Dross at 2008-01-15 21:17

SEATTLE – Postmenopausal women who take combined estrogen/progestin hormone-replacement therapy for three years or more face a fourfold increased risk of developing various forms of lobular breast cancer, according to new findings by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“Previous research indicated that five or more years of combined hormone-therapy use was necessary to increase overall breast-cancer risk,” said Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., the lead author of the report, published in the January issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. “Our study, the first specifically designed to evaluate the relationship between combined HRT and lobular breast cancers, suggests that a significantly shorter length of exposure to such hormones may confer an increased risk.”

read more | 2 comments | 1325 reads

UT Health Science Center researchers decoding saliva to detect breast cancer
By Dross at 2008-01-11 04:50

HOUSTON – (Jan.10, 2008)—Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston can identify and quantify specific protein markers in human saliva to provide an early, non-invasive diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published in the Jan. 10, 2008 issue of the journal "Cancer Investigation."

The study describes how the onset of breast cancer produces a change in the normal type and amount of proteins in glandular secretions from the salivary glands. The protein profile in a healthy person is altered by the presence of cancer.

Lead researcher Charles Streckfus, D.D.S., a University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston professor of diagnostic sciences with an expertise in salivary function and molecular epidemiology, collaborated on the groundbreaking study with William Dubinsky, Ph.D., a biochemist and professor of integrative biology and pharmacology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston; and Lenora Bigler, Ph.D., clinical research professor with the UT Dental Branch.

read more | 883 reads

Breast cancer cells have to learn to walk before they can run
By Dross at 2008-01-01 05:34

La Jolla, CA — Early-stage breast cancer that has not yet invaded the surrounding tissues may already contain highly motile cells, bringing the tumor one step closer to metastasistermterm, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Their study, published in the Dec. 30 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that these cells, although not yet invasive, could wander off along milk ducts and seed new tumors within the same breast. “A lack of invasion suggested a lack of motility,” says lead author Gray Pearson, Ph.D, a postdoctoral researcher in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory at the Salk, “but that’s not so.”

read more | 988 reads

Green Tea and Its Catechins Inhibit Breast Cancer Xenografts
By Dross at 2007-12-14 23:27

Investigators have shown that green tea may decrease the risk of cancer. It is widely accepted that the main active component of green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). In this study, we examined the effect of green tea on breast cancer growth and endothelial cells in in vitro assays and in animal models. Furthermore, we compared the potency of the different catechin components of green tea extract (GTE), including EGCG. Our data showed that mixed GTE and its individual catechin components were effective in inhibiting breast cancer and endothelial cell proliferation. In mouse experiments, GTE suppressed xenograft size and decreased the tumor vessel density. Our results demonstrated the value of all catechins and argued for the use of a mixed GTE as a botanical dietary supplement, rather than purified EGCG, in future clinical trials.

read more | 2 comments | 1368 reads

Men unaware of their cancer risk when female relatives test positive for BRCA mutation
By Dross at 2007-12-14 21:45

Men whose mothers, sisters or daughters test positive for a cancer-causing gene mutation also have an increased risk of developing the disease but are unaware of that risk. That is the conclusion of a study at Fox Chase Cancer Center exploring how families communicate genetic test results.

Like their female relatives, fathers, sons or brothers can also harbor a mutation in the BRCA 1 or 2 genes. Male carriers of these mutations, more commonly called the “breast cancer genes,” face a 14 percent lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer as well as a 6 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer

read more | 3 comments | 1105 reads

Putting risk in perspective: Do people make better decisions when they understand average risk?
By Dross at 2007-12-14 00:45

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If there were a pill that would cut your risk of breast cancer in half, would you take it" What if you were told your risk of breast cancer was already below average"

In a newly published survey, women who were told their risk of breast cancer was above average were more likely to endorse taking the hypothetical pill than women who were told their risk was below average. The above average group was also more likely to believe that the pill significantly reduced breast cancer risk – even though both groups were told the pill would cut their risk of breast cancer in half.

read more | 2 comments | 1264 reads

MIT radar technology fights breast cancer
By Dross at 2007-11-28 20:50

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Treating breast cancer with a type of heat therapy derived from MIT radar research can significantly increase the effectiveness of chemotherapyterm, according to results from the fourth clinical trial of the technique reported online Nov. 25 in the journal Cancer Therapy.

In this study, large tumors treated with a combination of chemotherapy and a focused microwave heat treatment shrunk nearly 50 percent more than tumors treated with chemotherapy alone. The microwave treatment is based on technology originally developed at MIT in the late 1980s as a tool for missile detection.

read more | 1005 reads

Using the Immune system to kill breast cancer cells
By Dross at 2007-11-10 20:08

Taking a clue from a rare disorder in which the immune system destroys a patient's cancer even as it attacks the nervous system, researchers have devised a new strategy to fight breast and ovarian cancer. The scientists have engineered immune cells that target cells containing a protein found in up to 60 percent of ovarian tumors and 25 percent of breast tumors.

The engineered cells, which recognize a protein that can trigger an autoimmune response in a small percentage of patients with these cancers, attacked and killed tumor cells grown in the laboratory. “These findings have brought us right to the cutting edge of tumor immunotherapy,” said Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Robert Darnell, who led the research.

read more | 6 comments | 1534 reads

Biomarker May Be an Early Predictor of Advanced Breast Cancer
By Dross at 2007-11-06 03:58

Researchers have identified a molecule that may be more accurate than existing biological signposts used to predict which breast cancers will develop into advanced forms of the disease.


Detailed Oct. 24, 2007, in an early online edition of the International Journal of Cancer, the discovery could one day influence therapy decisions and prevent patients from unnecessarily undergoing aggressive cancer treatments.

read more | 932 reads

U-M News: New gene linked to breast cancer
By Dross at 2007-10-09 03:43

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Researchers in a multicenter international study

have identified a new gene that, if mutated, may increase a woman*s

risk of breast cancer by more than a third.


Further, the researchers found that the gene, HMMR, interacts with the

well-known breast cancer gene BRCA1. Alternations in either gene cause

genetic instability and interfere with cell division, which could be a

read more | 1034 reads

Jefferson researchers uncover new evidence of prolactin's possible role in breast cancer
By Dross at 2007-09-29 07:19

(PHILADELPHIA) Scientists at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia have discovered new molecular evidence of the role of the hormone prolactin in breast cancer. They have found that prolactin, a pituitary hormone that normally stimulates breast development and milk production, initiates a new “signaling pathway” that may regulate the growth and survival of breast cancer cells.

The work, which appears this month in the journal Molecular Endocrinology, identifies the protein Jak1 as playing a key part in prolactin signaling in breast cancer. Jak1, which belongs to the cell growth-promoting tyrosine kinase class of enzymes, could represent a new drug target for treating breast cancer.

read more | 1035 reads

Exercise and yoga improves quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer
By Dross at 2007-09-05 05:59

Studies support use during and after treatment

Alexandria, VA—Two studies report that exercise and yoga can help maintain and in some cases improve quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer. The first study found that resistance and aerobic exercise improved physical fitness, self-esteem and body composition, and that resistance exercise improved chemotherapyterm completion rates. The second study demonstrated that yoga was particularly beneficial for women who were not receiving chemotherapy during the study period. Both studies will be published online September 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

read more | 1155 reads

Women's hormones and breast density are seperate predictors for breast cancer
By Dross at 2007-08-20 23:03

Washington, D.C.--The density of a woman’s breast tissue and her level of sex hormones are two strong and independent risk factors for breast cancer, according to a team of researchers from Harvard and Georgetown universities. The finding dispels the common belief that the risk associated with dense breasts merely reflects the same risk associated with high levels of circulating sex hormones, they say.


Their study, published in the August 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that the relative risk of developing breast cancer in post-menopausal woman with dense breasts was 400 percent higher than in women with fatty, non-dense breast tissue, and that high versus low levels of hormones (estrogen and testosterone) increased the relative risk by 200 percent. Adjusting for a woman’s circulating hormone levels did not reduce the risk associated with the level of breast density. Furthermore, these independent risk factors seemed to have additive effects so if a woman had both dense breasts and excess hormones, her risk was increased by 600 percent, the researchers found.

read more | 2484 reads

New Cause of Tamoxifen Resistance in Breast Cancer Cells
By Dross at 2007-08-13 00:57

When a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis her entire life may change in the blink of an eye. But the nature of that change is governed by the smallest alterations that take place within the proteins of the tumor cells, determining what treatments she can pursue with a hope of cure and those to which her cancer is resistant.


Scientists from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center announced today the discovery of a new mechanism of resistance to endocrine or anti-hormonal therapies, such as Tamoxifen and Faslodex. This research may allow oncologists to screen women for responsiveness to these treatments, and provides a much-needed clue to reversing resistance. The research, led by Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, a professor of oncology and of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center, indicates that a gene previously thought to be unrelated to breast cancer may be responsible for some resistance to endocrine therapy.

read more | 1 comment | 1378 reads

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